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Jackson Aldridge Tries to Make Fans Comfortable

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 16 2014

When he’s not making a name for himself playing basketball, Butler guard Jackson Aldridge is working on his career as a businessman/entrepreneur. As part of his Real Business Experience course, the sophomore economics major from Sydney, Australia, has created Stadium Sidekick, an inflatable drink holder that doubles as a seat cushion.

The Stadium Sidekick

Stadium Sidekick, which sells for $4, is designed to be customized with school and team logos, and marketed with this slogan: “Support your team with a full beer and a comfortable rear.”

“The long term goals of my business are to establish a reliable, comfortable, and unique product to both professional and collegiate sporting venues for fans to enjoy,” Aldridge said.

Product development began in Butler’s Real Business Experience (RBE) class, where students team up and devise an idea to produce and market a product or service. Then they produce and sell the product.

Aldridge and his team in the RBE class established a connection with a supplier in China to manufacture the product, and towards the end of the semester he made bulk sales totaling 200 units in just two weeks of sales.

If the business concept is approved by an outside funding review board, students can take a second class where they actually run their business marketing their product, and the College of Business will loan the team up to $5,000 to get up and running.

Aldridge is taking the second class and will be selling the Stadium Sidekick during the spring semester. After he pays back the money, he can keep the profits.

 

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
(317) 940-9822

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Butler Library Faculty Help Shortridge Students with Senior Projects

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PUBLISHED ON Jan 16 2014

When seniors at Shortridge Magnet High School start work on their required Senior Service Learning Project, they—and their teachers—will be backed with help from several members of the Butler library faculty.

Under the leadership of Associate Dean of the Libraries Sally Neal, and with the support of Dean Julie Miller, members of the Butler libraries faculty designed and delivered customized workshops for Shortridge faculty, staff, and students to guide them through the research paper that is part of their service learning project. 

On Jan. 10, the Butler library faculty provided a research skills workshop for the Shortridge faculty mentors who are shepherding the Shortridge students through this first-time project.

“The Butler librarians shared some of their best tips for helping students locate the resources they will need for their research,” Neal said.

Strategies shared included how to write a strong thesis statement; identifying terminology/keywords for searching; considering the types of information sources needed (primary, secondary); identifying the information tools available for searching; and, finally, database searching strategies. 

On Jan. 17, the library faculty will present to the Shortridge students directly. The Shortridge students are at various points in the research process, so Butler librarians will present an overview on developing a strong thesis statement and good keywords. They will then work with the students in small groups based on where they are at in their research process. 

“Working with the Shortridge seniors will provide us with the opportunity to learn where they are at in their information literacy/research skill learning and to share with them how building on these skills is necessary not only for college but for lifelong learning,” Neal said. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with students outside Butler who may become Butler students themselves!” 

Butler University faculty collaborated with the Indianapolis Public Schools and community representatives to develop and open Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy in 2009. The school offers a rigorous Core 40 college preparatory curriculum for grades 6-12, engagement with social justice issues, and exploration of legal and public service careers.

Butler students and faculty work with Shortridge counterparts in mentoring and tutoring, curriculum planning, after-school programs, professional teacher development, and an Early College Program.

Butler faculty participating in this project with Neal include Sally Childs-Helton, Janice Gustaferro, Tim Hommey, and Teresa Willliams.

Julianne Miranda, director of Butler’s Center for Academic Technology, also is a partner in this venture. She will assist in devising ways in which Information Commons student staff might assist the Shortridge seniors in later stages of preparing their presentations.

The Senior Serving Learning Project is designed to be a culmination of the Shortridge students’ experience at the law and public policy magnet school. Seniors have the opportunity to work with a community organization that specializes in a particular area of law or public policy.

They’re required to complete 80 hours of service that focuses on legal or public policy issues. They then write and present their projects to a panel of judges. Their work is supposed to be at or near college level.

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
(317) 940-9822

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Graduate Student Kurt Carlson Earns Fulbright Award

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 25 2013

Kurt Carlson, a graduate student in music history in Butler’s Jordan College of the Arts, has received a Fulbright award for 2013-2014 to conduct research in Austria, through the University of Vienna, on 18th century composer Paul Wranitzky and the First Viennese School.

Kurt Carlson

Carlson’s work will include searching for Wranitzky’s letters in the many archives in Vienna, as well as the Masonic archives at Schloss Rosenau and some of the Czech holdings in Prague. He also will attempt to produce some new critical editions of Wranitzky's symphonies, especially those that have yet to been performed.

“I hope that after this research and time spent working on the same project for a dissertation I will have enough new information to write the first definitive monograph on Paul Wranitzky,” said Carlson, who also will be teaching in a secondary school un Vienna during his year there.

Carlson said he became interested in Wranitzky when, pondering a topic for an undergraduate thesis, he decided to trace how certain composers reacted to the cultural and political climate of their given moment in history.

He settled on two scenes: a "reactionary parenthesis" regarding WWII through selections by Shostakovich and Schoenberg, and a journey into the parallel idealist and realistic tendencies of the political fallout after the French Revolution, illuminated by Beethoven's Third Symphony (1803-1804), and Paul Wranitzky's Op. 31 Grande Sinfonie Caracteristique pour la Paix avec la Republique Francoise, often referred to as La Paix.

“I chose Wranitzky because in the Viennese 1790s there existed a vacuum of politically pointed or, in the case of La Paix, sympathetic music,” Carlson said. “I found out later that this vacuum most likely exists because in 1794 a bunch of arrests and even executions were carried out against people who sympathized with the French. And yet, here is this symphony of 1796, blatantly sympathetic, written by a man who had modest fame and worked primarily as a conductor at an opera house! I was fascinated.”

Carlson, a native of Woodstock, Ill., earned his undergraduate degree from Monmouth College. His primary advisors at Butler are Professors Sarah Eyerly and James Briscoe. He plans to enroll in a doctoral program when he returns from his year in Vienna.

"We are so proud that Kurt has received this award,” Eyerly said. “This is an honor for our department and for the University. And for Kurt, the Fulbright will likely constitute a career-changing experience. It shows the promise for Kurt to rise to the top of our profession and will enable him to demonstrate this promise in a tangible way to prospective graduate schools upon his return to the U.S."

Briscoe said Carlson “has honored Butler in many ways, both in the excellence of his music history studies but also in his counseling of undergraduates. I do not think we in music have ever sent a Master of Music student to such a major place in the constellation of student awards. There's no study prize more prestigious than a Fulbright.”

The Fulbright program, sponsored by the U.S. government, is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” Through the program, nearly 300,000 participants — chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — have been given the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
(317) 940-9822

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Professor Eyerly Finds Her Roots, and Her Research Topic

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 22 2013

Assistant Professor of Music Sarah Eyerly studies the practice of musical improvisation in the 18th-century communities of the Moravian Church. It’s a topic that seems obscure—until you know the backstory.

Sarah Eyerly

Rewind to 2002. A cousin sent her father a Pennsylvania Historical Society article about her great-great-great-great grandfather, Johann Jacob Eyerly, Jr., whose newly translated diary documented his roughly 300-mile walk along Indian trails from Bethlehem, Pa., to Pittsburgh, in the early 1790s. (The trip took eight days, during the summer. He wrote that the weather was so hot that the clothes melted off his back.)

The article mentioned that the diary was kept in the archives of the Moravian Church in Bethlehem. So Eyerly and her father drove there to view the manuscript. There, Eyerly, who grew up in the Lutheran Church, discovered family history she never knew: The Eyerlys’ roots were in the Moravian Church.

Coincidentally, her advisor at the University of California-Davis happened to be Moravian. After some discussion, Eyerly decided to apply for a research grant to go to the central archives of the Moravian Church in Germany. She spent a summer there and found manuscripts related to the practice of improvising hymns.

That ended up being the subject of her dissertation, and a life-changing event that has led her to become one of the foremost authorities on improvisational hymn singing.

In September 2011, she presented a paper at Oxford University on improvisational hymn singing as a way of communicating Christian theology.

“People would get together and sing in groups,” said Eyerly, who’s in her fourth year teaching music history at Butler. “They would lie on the floor and sing into the wooden floor boards so the vibrations of the singing would cleanse them in the way that theologically Christ’s body and blood can cleanse the Christian community in spiritual and physical ways. So it was a spiritual and physical way of singing that helped to guide participants toward an understanding of their theology.”

A year later, Eyerly went back to Oxford for a conference called “Perspectives on Musical Improvisation.” She talked about how the Moravians were able to teach so many community members how to improvise hymns and the pedagogy behind teaching improvisation.

Eyerly is writing a book on Moravian music, which she hopes to publish in the next two years. She is also returning to Oxford in September 2013 to talk about the Moravians and the creation of Christian community through song.

“This consumes me now,” she said with a smile.

 

Media contact
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
(317) 940-9822

 

 

 

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Meet the New Butler Aphasia Community

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 21 2013

Students playing games using their non-dominant hands, partners working together to find locations on a map, students and their partners creating beautiful works of art—this is the new Butler Aphasia Community.

Members of the Butler Aphasia Community participating in a painting party

About 11 students in Butler University’s Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) Department began working with Indianapolis residents afflicted with aphasia—impairment of the ability to use or comprehend words, usually as a result of a stroke or other brain injury—on Feb. 14.

The clients come to Butler’s campus to meet with the students in the CSC clinic in Jordan Hall every Thursday evening. The Butler Aphasia Community provides a place for aphasia patients to practice the skills they have learned in therapy following a stroke.

“Usually there’s nowhere to go once therapy has ended, so this allows students to get experience working with patients,” CSD instructor Mary Gospel said. “They essentially help the patients re-enter their lives.”

A person with aphasia may have difficulty retrieving words and names or following a conversation, but their intelligence is basically intact. The Butler Aphasia Community offers student-run entertainment and learning activities that provide opportunities for 18-24 people with chronic aphasia to communicate in a comfortable and encouraging atmosphere.

Butler Art and Physical Education students and faculty also lead and organize activities with the clients.

Gospel received a $3,000 seed grant for the pilot program, as well as $2,250 from the Indiana Campus Compact, and $750 from Butler University, to begin developing the Butler Aphasia Center.

Over the past 10 years, close to 100 Butler CSD students have attended a local aphasia support group’s monthly meetings, to play games and converse with the clients. Gospel usually expects students to attend at least one support group meeting, but many have continued attending.

“The clients are the teachers of our students,” Gospel said.

According to Gospel, it is unusual for communication sciences and disorders undergraduate students to have so much hands-on experience working and interacting directly with clients. The Butler Aphasia Community allows more interaction between clients and students and gives students valuable experience with clients.

Every meeting also includes time for conversation when clients can tell their partners about their lives and their recovery.

“Clients’ honesty and bravery has added a new dimension to the students’ education,” Gospel said. “In return, students have given back by attending clients’ knitting groups, taking valentines to their nursing homes, and having dinner with them.”

Media contact:
Molly Kordas
(708) 691-8789
mkordas@butler.edu

 

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LAS Dean Jay Howard Receives Prestigious Teaching Award

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 19 2013

Jay Howard, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will receive the American Sociological Association (ASA) 2013 Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award, which is given annually to honor an educator for his or her efforts to improve the teaching of sociology.

Jay Howard

 

Howard will receive the award—the highest award a teacher can receive in the sociology discipline—in August in New York at the ASA’s annual meeting.

“Jay Howard richly deserves this highly prestigious award, having made major contributions to teaching and learning at state, regional, and national levels and through service, workshops, and publications that have enhance the ‘college teaching movement,’” said Keith Roberts, Hanover College emeritus professor of sociology, who nominated him for the award. 

“In the entire history of the award, Jay is only the fifth person from a liberal arts college to be so recognized, and that in itself speaks to how he has earned national recognition despite being at smaller teaching-oriented institutions. It is a privilege to have him as friend and colleague.”

Howard’s contributions include:

-Starting a program for the North Central Sociological Association called the Future Faculty Certificate. “Graduate students, when they come to professional meetings, are often drive-by participants,” Howard said. “They present their research and leave after their session, often because they don’t have a lot of money. We were interested in getting them greater benefit from the meetings and getting them engaged in the organization.”

Howard led the effort to create the certificate, which graduate students earn by participating in teaching-related sessions. The certificate signals to potential employers that the individual is serious about teaching. The ASA has since established its own certificate program, which it modeled after North Central’s program.

-Authoring more than 35 teaching-related publications including, a book called First Contact:  Teaching and Learning in Introductory Sociology, with colleague Nancy Greenwood.  Howard has presented on teaching-related topics multiple times at ASA meetings.

-Writing, presenting, and publishing research about student participation and discussion in the college classroom. Howard presents faculty development workshops on this topic at institutions around the country.

-Serving as a member of ASA’s Department Resources Group, which trains sociologists to be external reviewers for college and university sociology departments.

-Serving as a key contributor to Indiana University’s Future Faculty Teaching Fellows and Preparing Future Faculty programs.

"Howard’s many contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning at the national level provide a blueprint for aspiring winners of this award," said Rebecca Bach of Duke University, chair of the ASA Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award Committee. 

Howard joined Butler in 2010 after serving in numerous positions at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, including interim vice chancellor and dean. He also has been a member of the graduate school faculty at Indiana University.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Indiana University South Bend, and his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.

 “I have been fortunate to be a part of a culture that values teaching on campus at Butler and at IU as well as in professional organizations at the regional and national levels , each of which provided me opportunities to contribute to furthering student learning,” Howard said. “I am deeply honored and humbled by this recognition.”

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
(317) 940-9822

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U.S. News Ranks Butler Part-time MBA Program 67th in Nation

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PUBLISHED ON Mar 12 2013

Butler Univesity's part-time MBA program ranks 67th in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Graduate Schools, 2014 Edition, a two-point improvement over its 2013 ranking at 69th.

BusinessButler is the top-ranked private school program in Indiana. This is the third consecutive year Butler has made the list; it placed 105th in the 2012 rankings.

College of Business Dean Chuck Williams said the ongoing national recognition can be credited to graduate faculty’s efforts to connect theory with actual business practice. “Working with area executives, our MBA faculty incorporate relevant, real business experiences into courses—activities such as our one-day immersion Gateway Experience and our FirstPerson Board Fellows program, which places our graduate students on the boards of local non-profit organizations.”

 Butler’s part-time MBA program combines evening classes with accelerated and weekend sessions; it offers concentrations in finance, international business, leadership, and marketing.

U.S. News rankings are based on four factors: average peer assessment score; average GMAT score of students entering in fall 2012; acceptance rate; and the program’s fall 2012 part-time enrollment.

The average peer assessment score—which accounts for 50 percent of a school’s overall score—is calculated from a fall 2012 survey that asks business school deans and MBA program directors at each of the nation’s 325 part-time MBA programs to rate the programs on a 5-point scale.

 Media contact: Mary Ellen Stephenson
(317) 940-6944
mestephe@butler.edu

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McGrath Named to College Sports Information Directors' Hall of Fame

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PUBLISHED ON Feb 27 2013

Butler University Associate Athletic Director Jim McGrath has been selected for induction into the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall of Fame.

 

This honor is presented to members of CoSIDA who have made outstanding contributions to the field of college athletic communications. McGrath will be inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame at a luncheon and ceremony on Thursday, June 13, in Orlando, Fla.

McGrath has served as Butler's sports information director since 1981 and assumed the title of associate athletic director in 1989 after four years as an assistant athletic director. In his current role, he is responsible for overseeing media relations for Butler’s 19 intercollegiate sports, and he’s the individual sport contact for men's basketball, football, men's soccer, softball, men's and women's golf and men's and women's cross country and track.  During his tenure, he has covered more than 2,000 Butler athletic events.

Since assuming his post at Butler, McGrath has served as the host SID for four NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Final Fours and one Women's Basketball Final Four, as well as nine NCAA men's first and second rounds tournaments.  He’s served on the NCAA Media Coordination staff for the Final Four since 2008, and he’s been a member of the NCAA Media Coordination Advisory Board since 2012.

McGrath has worked in press operations at amateur national championships in boxing, swimming and track and field. He was a press officer at the 1982 and 1983 United States Olympic Committee National Sports Festivals and the 1986 U.S. Olympic Festival, and he served as a press officer for the United States team at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis. He co-chaired the Media Center Development and Operations Committee for Pan American Games X and served on the media coordination staff for the 2002 World Basketball Championship.

McGrath arrived at Butler after a 10-year stint as sports information director at his alma mater, Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.). While at Augustana, he served as the host SID for five NCAA Division III national basketball championships. He was publicity director for the Ed McMahon Quad-Cities Open professional golf tournament for five years, and he served five years as the director of communications for the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.  While at Augustana, he received 30 publications awards from CoSIDA, including 10 Best in the Nation certificates.

McGrath received the “Helping Hand” Award from the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association in 2010, and he was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame in September 2012.  He also joined the Augustana College Tribe of Vikings Hall of Fame with the 1972-73 men’s basketball team in fall 2012.

A 1971 graduate of Augustana, McGrath and his wife, Judy, have three sons, Chad, Scott and Christopher, and five grandchildren.

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
(317) 940-9822

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Butler Students Perform Well in Model Arab League

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PUBLISHED ON Feb 27 2013

Butler University’s delegation turned in a strong showing in its first appearance in the Model Arab League, held Feb. 21-23 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Kirstie Dobbs, Delaney Barr, Needa Malik

Individual honors for Butler include Delaney Barr (International Studies), who received Honorable Mention in Social Affairs; Needa Malik (International Studies), Honorable Mention in Joint Defense; and Kirstie Dobbs (International Studies and French), Best Delegate in Political Affairs.

Through participation in the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ Model Arab League (MAL) program students learn about the politics and history of the Arab world, and the arts of diplomacy and public speech. MAL helps prepare students to be knowledgeable, well-trained, and effective citizens as well as civic and public affairs leaders.

Universities and high schools from across the United States are invited to participate.

Robert L. Oprisko, visiting assistant professor in Butler’s International Studies Program, oversaw the Butler delegation and said it earned a reputation for innovative problem solving and mastery of parliamentary procedure. The Butler students were responsible for a number of firsts in Model Arab League history, including the first joint-session, the first use of the International Criminal Court, and the first use of protest to promote policy (in honor of the Arab Spring).

The Butler delegates received high praise by other faculty-coaches including Vaughn Shannon (associate professor, Wright State), Saleh Yousef (provost and executive vice president of academic affairs, Miami of Ohio), and Ambassador Feisal Amin Rasoul al-Istrabadi (director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Indiana University).

 

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
(317) 940-9822

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A Freshman, and Also a National Champion

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PUBLISHED ON Feb 22 2013

As a child, Ernie Stevens would watch figure skating on TV and skate around in his socks on the hardwood floor in his house. A decade later, the Butler University freshman is a national figure-skating champion, winning the United States National Championship on Jan. 22 in Omaha, Neb.

Ernie Stevens and Christina Zaitsev

Stevens and his skating partner Christina Zaitsev skate in the Novice Pairs division, the third highest level in figure skating below Junior and Senior levels. The pair won with a score of 124 points, a score that would have also put them in first place at the Junior level.

Stevens and Zaitsev are leading contenders for the World Championships next year. According to Stevens, Zaitsev, 13, will be too young to qualify for the Winter Olympics next year, but their hard work has set them up perfectly to compete in the Winter Olympics in 2018.

“2018 will be our year,” he said.

Stevens has been skating for 13 years. He began when he was a first grader living in Louisville, Ky. He was skating at a rink near his home when a coach asked him to try figure skating.

Stevens immediately loved skating and had been contemplating playing hockey, so his mother was thrilled when he decided to figure skate. As a child Stevens played almost every sport but always stuck with skating.

Unfortunately, during his training in Louisville, Stevens was injured and struggled with a growing pain in his knee.

“It was pretty bad. I really thought I was never going to be able to skate again,” Stevens said.

However, a coach in Indianapolis, Serguei Zaitsev, was confident that they could overcome Stevens’ knee injury with the proper hard work and training. Stevens began training in Indianapolis and became interested in pairs skating. Serguei decided to pair him with his daughter Christina.

When Stevens graduated high school he decided that he wanted to go to a college in Indianapolis so he could continue to train in skating and still get a quality education. Butler University just made sense.

“I wouldn’t trade that decision for anything in the world. It’s a great school with great people, so it worked out,” he said.

Because of the intense demands of training and being a student, “Not a lot of skaters choose to go to college,” he said. Stevens, a Strategic Communications major at Butler, finds it difficult to balance college life and training in ballet and skating Monday through Saturday, four hours per day. 

“But even though skating is so competitive and it’s a lot of pressure, school helps because it takes my mind off all of that pressure,” Stevens said.

Media contact:
Molly Kordas
(708) 691-8789
mkordas@butler.edu

 

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Professor's Study Links Over-the-Counter Drugs With Kidney Disease in Children

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PUBLISHED ON Feb 22 2013

Three years ago, physicians specializing in kidney diseases at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis noticed a recurring problem in their patients: Children who had been given ibuprofen at home were experiencing kidney injuries.

Chad Knoderer, now an associate professor of pharmacy practice at Butler University, was a consultant for a physician group at Riley at the time. He joined researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine to study how often drugs like ibuprofen were causing kidney injuries in their patients.

“This is such an important issue because the drugs are over the counter, so they are easily available,” Knoderer said. “Even young adolescents could buy ibuprofen on their own without knowing about the risks.”

According to the study, which was published in the Journal of Pediatrics on Jan. 25, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—drugs such as ibuprofen, Aleve, and naproxen—can cause significant kidney injury in sick children, especially those with dehydration from flu or other illnesses.

Researchers examined more than 1,015 cases at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health in Indianapolis over the past three years using data as far back as 1999. The study is considered the first large-scale study of the incidence and impact of acute kidney injury caused by NSAIDs, according to a recent IU School of Medicine press release.

The team of researchers found that 3 percent of admitted kidney injury patients suffered kidney injuries due to having taken NSAIDs, and that these patients are likely an underestimate of the number of children affected.

Researchers also found that three-fourths of the patients were taking NSAIDs for less than seven days, revealing that the negative effects of the drugs happened quickly. Children under 5 years old are at a higher risk for needing dialysis and admittance to the intensive care unit of a hospital, the study found.

Three-fourths of the patients also took the correct dosage as indicated on the label.

“This tells us that the parents did everything right according to the label,” Knoderer said. “So now we have a problem that happens quickly and it happens even when the medication is taken as instructed.”

Researchers found that medical costs were driven up by these cases as well, with at least $375,000 being spent on the NSAID-associated kidney injury cases at Riley Hospital over the study period.

“Even though they are over-the-counter drugs being taken correctly, this study tells us that additional education might be necessary and extremely beneficial to parents and young teens,” Knoderer said.

Media contact:
Molly Kordas
(708) 691-8789
mkordas@butler.edu

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ChaCha Wins Butler Business Accelerator Test of Mobile Search Engines, Question and Answer Platforms

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PUBLISHED ON Feb 21 2013

A new study by the Butler Business Accelerator found that ChaCha answered questions better than 10 other mobile search engines and question-and-answer platforms, including Ask.com, Answers.com, Google, Quora, Siri, and Yahoo Answers.

The Butler University Q&A Intelligence Index measured the likelihood that a user could expect to receive a correct answer in a timely manner to any random query using natural language. ChaCha’s mobile application for the Apple iPhone outperformed all the services tested, garnering the highest score on the Butler University Q&A Intelligence Index by responding to 99 percent of the study’s 180 randomly selected questions with the highest degree of accuracy.

The rankings are:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Mean accuracy of responses originally graded on a five-point scale.

The questions were asked via mobile services and randomized to cover both popular and less common questions. The coverage score measured whether an answer was returned within a three-minute window and assessed the first non-sponsored search result in Q&A platforms. The accuracy score measured how correct answers were in relation to an objective third party’s answer key that accounted for logic and bias.

Questions asked were in the areas of advice (“What if a girl doesn’t want to talk to you?”), objective (“What are the 10 most common names?”), and subjective (“Who would win in a fight, The Hulk or Superman?”).

“ChaCha delivered the highest quality responses consistently across the largest group of categories and question types,” said Trent Ritzenthaler, operating director of the Butler Business Accelerator.

Other findings of the study:

-Ask.com performed better than all others in the single category of questions labeled objective/temporal, such as “When does summer end?”

-Quora was proficient at answering difficult questions that require expert and extensive explanations, but it was generally unable to deliver answers within three minutes for most information searches on mobile devices. Quora answered only 24 percent of the questions at all, and often the match found did not include a viable answer.

-Siri accurately answered only 37.5 percent of the questions posed, but Siri’s biggest strengths are considered to be in local discovery and operating system commands, which were not highly represented in Butler’s study of more mainstream questions.

-Google’s response rate was 100 percent, but the first non-sponsored result on the search results page—which often times was not fully visible as an organic search result on the presented page on a mobile device—only presented an accurate answer about 50 percent of the time.

“Through our extensive study, ChaCha showed the highest level of performance,” Ritzenthaler said. “As the market matures, we anticipate that ChaCha and other mobile search companies will lift the standard of natural language processing and semantic understanding to enhance the user experience with mobile Q&A.”

For further information on the research methodology and analysis of test data, visit http://www.butler.edu/q-a-study/.

 

Media contact:
Marc Allan
mallan@butler.edu
(317) 940-9822

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